Murghab

The highest mountain village in Central Asia

 

The village of Murghab (3600 m) is located on the Murghab plateau, deep in the Pamir mountains in Tajikistan. The natural splendor surrounding the town is breathtaking, and the air flowing the body is so fragrant and heady as if it was boiled separately in a place hidden from the human eye, and then poured into the surroundings. The only drawback of such air is that a person who is not adapted to the high mountains may feel discomfort (shortness of breath, lack of oxygen) when walking fast. This is not surprising, because Murghab is located at an altitude of more than three and a half kilometres above sea level, which makes it a unique town not only in Tajikistan, but throughout the CIS.

The capital of the Eastern Pamirs, as Murghab is also called, as well as many settlements situated  in the most remote places, appeared thanks to the border guards. Murghab was founded at the end of the XIX century  as the Pamir post of the Russian Empire, the famous Pamir Highway that connects Tajikistan with Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and China passes here.

Today, Murghab is the best bridgehead  from which it is recommended to start exploring the Pamir mountains. Anyone who has already reached this town casts aside all doubts about the choice of route. Sheer cliffs on one side of the road and the rumble of a mountain stream on the other penetrate deep into the soul, like the sounds of a shamanic tambourine, forcing those soul strings that are responsible for the Call of the Ancestors to tremble. It is impossible to fight this call, it suppresses all the habits of a city dweller and encourages going forward to discoveries, a dazzling sun and a wind in the face. The harsh mountains with gray caps of glaciers all around seem to defy a person, and you want to accept this challenge unbearably, you want to fight and prove that the ability to exist in the wild has not disappeared.

The weather in Murghab is characterized by significant differences: the temperature in winter can drop to -50 ° C, and in summer rise to + 40 ° C. Constant winds prevail here, and a thundercloud or snow cloud can fly at any moment. Despite the harsh weather conditions, about 4,000 people live in Murghab. These are mainly ethnic Kyrgyz, but they live in dwellings more typical  for  Tajiks.

In Murghab there are guest houses, cafes, as well bazaar and craft shops where you can buy unique items made by the Pamiri people: handmade carpets , Kyrgyz traditional hats (kalpak), bags, national embroidery and other souvenirs.

At the southern end of the town is the entrance to the gorge, where after 45 kilometers along the dirt road you can reach the Madian hot springs. Rest and relaxation received in the spring bath seem to  fill the body with life-giving force, restores the desire to strive for something great and live brighter. A meal in a real yurt will forever remain in your memory.

An indelible impression will also be left by acquaintance with Karakul Lake, located 130 kilometers from Murghab, it seems, it can take forever to admire its beauties. No less magnificent looks Sarez Lake, which can be reached only by moving away from Murghab 30 kilometres, like in the case of Karakul, but in the opposite direction. Looking at it, one gets the impression that once the Earth decided to water the Sky and handed it a huge stone bowl with clear water. It is not known why the offer was rejected, but the cup remained raised in the stone hand of the great Pamirs.

The feelings which are awakened by Murghab and its views do not disappear even after returning home - they continue to live in the soul and provide significant support in the performance of everyday activities, help to become aware of our essence and look at ourselves, surrounding people and the whole world from a different point of view.

People go to some places to admire the beauty of ancient architecture or other monuments of antiquity, somewhere  they can just stare at the breathtaking modern skyscrapers for hours, cities with dozens of interesting museums are  another sightseeing destination. But if there is a craving for masterpieces in the soul that were not created by human genius, then the high-mountain Murghab is exactly  what you need.

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